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Youth Voices Commentary The World Doesn’t Love You; My Mother’s Life (Feminist Perspective)

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Feb-21-21 Author Markayla H.

“ If there was any doubt about Abel, the truth was right there in front of us all along, in his name. He was Abel the good brother, the good son. But Abel was his English name. His Tsonga name was Ngisaveni. It means” be afraid “

Abel is a deadbeat. “He don’t do shit”. And he shot Patricia in the head…

In the story Born A Crime written by Trevor Noah, we learn about his stepfather Abel. Abel was a drunk, abusive, and insecure man. Despite everything Trevor’s mom still laid down and had another baby with him. They still survived all his hardships and trials. However, the question is does, Born A Crime does an effective job of illustrating different gender roles and relationships in South Africa? Abel being a man, being in an intimate relationship with a woman, and being the “male role model” in 2 young boys' lives, yet he still wasn’t the ideal man. Abel couldn’t provide but wanted to control everything. Instead of talking out his problems, he beat the mother of his son. Born A Crime does an effective job because it illustrates patriarchy. To a further extent, it shows how a woman can be with a man and still be on her own, and it also shows that traditions can be changed or altered.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, patriarchy is a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. So basically when Abel was beating the crap out of Patricia nothing could be done. The police brushed it off because back then a man could do whatever and it would be alright. It was okay for Abel to beat his family then drink, then beat up other people, and then drink some more because he was a man. I know this because in the book it says “ When the cops arrived he said nothing but oh-oh go in and have a conversation, this is not necessary”. Patriarchy gave men leeway to do whatever.

Patricia lived with a man, slept with a man, loved a man, but still had to do everything on her own. She paid her own bills, took care of her own kids, and took care of herself. In my eyes with support from the book Men were/are supposed to be providers and protectors for women, kids, and themselves. Patricia was the provider and the victim. She worked through the day then got her ass beat at night. Being with a man doesn’t mean anything, back then in South Africa men were held at such a high standard but Abel never met the requirements. For example, In the book, it says,

“ You’re not a man; You’re a child, I can’t have a child for a husband, I’ve got my own children to raise, and you call yourself a father, then out of nowhere he smacked her across the face.”

This shows that Abel did not act like a man he did not live up to his name. Abel was not a man because Patricia did everything a man was supposed to do. “Abel was a Bitxh”.

Traditions. Many of us have traditions we have to follow. Traditionally back then men would go to work all day and the women would stay in the house clean and cook etc. Not Patrica.

Patricia Noah didn’t stay in anyone’s kitchen. She was a free-roaming spirit. She insisted on walking to the village, going where the men hung out, talking to the men as equals.” Patricia wouldn’t fight the system she would mock the system. The tradition of women bowing to the men she found ridiculous, she made a mockery of it, “she overdid it”. The women would bow and do a little curtsy and Patricia would go all the way and roll in the dirt.

This shows us that a man’s presence never affected her until he neglected her. It was kind of like she had no respect for a man even though he was supposed to be superior. To answer the question yet again Born A Crime does an effective job illustrating gender roles through relationships because it tells us how a man is supposed to be treated, explains the traditions, then boom- brings us this “wishy-washy” powerful woman and – shows us how she doesn’t care for traditions.

Even when they want us to be nothing we’ve always been something, we’ve always have to be something even if that something was nothing,... “ You have to accept yourself as a god. You have to realize your just as much the Devil as you are God. That you’re everything and you’re nothing at all” Abel was everything and nothing at all. Patricia was everything but became nothing at all.

This book was everything and something for us all. Born A Crime did a hell of a good job illustrating gender roles through relationships in South Africa. It taught us Women, Man, Child, even Dog, to Stand for something or fall for anything.

Effectively I’ve reached this conclusion through three reasons: Born a crime shows patriarchy deeper and “realistically”, shows how a woman can be with a man and still be on her own, and exhibits how traditions can be broken/altered.

DMU Timestamp: February 12, 2021 19:33

Added February 21, 2021 at 10:40pm by Samuel Reed III
Title: Author Markayla H.

Markayla H. Commentary

DMU Timestamp: February 12, 2021 19:33

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